Jekyll Square, originally called “Jekyll Place,” was named after Sir Joseph Jekyll (1663-1738), a member of British parliament. He was a friend of General Oglethorpe, the founder of Georgia, and a financial supporter of the colony. It is a fitting tribute to Sir Joseph Jekyll that the square named in his honor has long been a center of law, commerce and finance in Brunswick.
Jekyll Square was important to the Brunswick’s development early in history of the city. On its east side, the square has been bordered with retail shops, a hotel, a service station and the local Masonic lodge at various points in time. On the western side of the square, a stately 3-story building was home to two local financial institutions and the County Courthouse during the 19th century, and popular retail establishments and law offices from the 1900s onward.
As with other locations throughout Brunswick, a fevered rush of architectural reform impacted Jekyll Square in the late 1950s. The landmark bank/Courthouse on Jekyll West was reduced to a single story, and most nearby buildings were remodeled to conform to property owners’ vision of a comparatively stark, simplified, modular streetscape.
Until its revitalization in 2008, Jekyll Square had served primarily as an occasional gathering spot during crowded downtown events, or a blank space between other destinations. Extensive work on both sections of the square gave downtown Brunswick two beautiful parks, complete with a fountain, exceptional landscaping and plenty of places to sit and admire it all.